10 Things to Know Before You Go to Japan

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Published on December 9, 2018 by Chris

10 things YOU need to know before you go to Japan. A comprehensive travel guide to bring you up to speed on Japanese Etiquette, Language, Food, Hotels, and more! After watching this video you’ll be well prepared to tackle Japan, my favorite country to travel to!

1- Etiquette:
Japanese have a specific way to do everything — as a foreigner you’ll probably get a pass
Types of bowing
Greetings
How to sit
How to hand things with 2 hands
Levels of politeness
Happy to help — and sometimes they will really go out of their way to help you.

2- Language:
Japanese of course! Different Dialects throughout.
English in the big cities
Japanese may seem like they don’t know English.. they are just Shy.
Tokyo,Osaka,Kyoto public transport signed in English
Not so much in the suburbs
Good to have your hotel and destinations written in Japanese
Don’t know Japanese? Just try the English variant
Hamburger
Coffee – Cohhe
Good to learn some basic Japanese
Biru Kudasai

3- Timeliness:
Being on time is very important
Stores close and open promptly
Bullet trains have to run within 15 seconds of their posted schedule
Dinner Reservations be on time.
5 mins before and they may not seat you.
Distance often measured in “walking time”
Japan is just one time zone
Calendar is different

4- Public Transportation:
It’s amazing
Be aware of rush hour and the last train time
Little luggage storage — Luggage shipping services
Train stations are amazing too.
But confusing.
Remain calm. Take the next train
Coin Lockers!
But watch my video
JR Pass
Driving — I’ve got a video on that too
But don’t drive in the big cities
The “Limousine Bus” is just a bus.
No Uber.. taxis though! Let the taxi driver open the door.
Bicycling – Can be fun.. park in a legal spot. Ride on sidewalks.

5- Food:
Noodles, Sushi and Yakitori
Slurp your noodles
Katsu Don
Ten Don
Pepper Lunch
Pudding!
Matcha Everything
Fruit ( Strawberry, Cantaloupe)
Give it a try!
It doesn’t all have to be expensive.
Watch my cheap eats video
English menu
Point at the food in the window (or take a picture of it)
Vending Machines to order
Izakaya — Japanese Pub — Time limit
Tatami Restaurants — sit on the floor, take off your shoes
Standing restaurants (Sushi, Steak)
Convience Stores
Department Stores
Pancakes for dinner
Maid Cafes
Robot Restaurant

6- Money:
Cash is King! Credit not accepted much.
Yen
Bills / Coins
Always put your money in the Tray
Change comes back in a Tray
With 2 hands

Japan is probably the cheapest country in the developed world. The only comparable countries are Portugal and Taiwan.
Stay at Toyoko Inn and eat at 7-11 and Yoshinoya

7- Tipping:
They don’t do it
It’s actually considered rude

8- Trash:
There are very few public trash cans
Watch my video for more details

9- Toilets:
Some squat toilets
Toto toilets are Amazing!
Sometimes called Washlet or Ostomat
If water runs when you sit on it you didn’t break it
Great way to clean yourself, dryer, music,heat
Usually no paper towels, carry a handtowel
Toilet slippers – just for the toilet
If it is a squat toilets:
Face the right way, usually in the direction of the porcelain hood. Note point “A” in the diagram. Avoid this common mistake: Don’t go over the hole – by going over the opposite end (the end without the hole), you avoid any sort of splashing or the like.

10 – Hotels:
Small. Functional. Clean. Tired.

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